For They are a Rebellious House

Ezekiel 2:1-5 ESV

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

All of us who are called of God to be his holy people, who have died with him to sin, and who are living to him and to his righteousness, are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are to be our Lord’s witnesses, and we are to make disciples of people of all nations, teaching them to obey our Lord’s commands (New Covenant). And we are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.

And something we are all to do is to encourage (exhort, counsel, urge, and instruct) one another in the ways of the Lord and his righteousness and holiness. We are to do this so that none of us will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And we are to speak the truth in love one to the other so that none of us will be taken captive by false doctrines being taught by men in their deceitful scheming, but that we will all grow together to maturity in Christ as each of us does his part in the body of Christ.

[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; Rom 15:14; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Php 2:1-8; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-25; 1 Pet 2:9,21; 1 Jn 2:6]

And if a fellow believer in Jesus Christ falls back into sin, we who are spiritual, who are following the Lord in obedience, are to restore this person back to a right relationship with the Lord, if that person is willing and cooperative and wants to be restored (Galatians 6:1). And if a fellow believer in Jesus Christ wanders from the truth, we who are following the Lord with our lives, as led by the Spirit, should bring that person back from his wandering, which will save his soul from death (James 5:19-20). But again, this involves the other person’s cooperation and participation.

So, we don’t have to be a prophet of God or a full-time minister of the gospel or a pastor over a congregation of the saints in order to do what Ezekiel and many of the Old Testament prophets did in obedience to their Lord. For we are all to speak the truth in love, one to the other to help one another to walk in faithfulness to our Lord, in walks of obedience to him, and in walks of righteousness and holiness, and not in sin. And we are to do this whether or not those to whom we speak listen or they don’t listen to us.

For there are many rebellious professers of faith in Jesus Christ who are giving lip service only to the Lord but who are stubbornly holding on to sinful practices and who are denying Jesus as Lord by their actions. Many of them are caught up in addictive sinful behaviors, such as in sexual immorality and drug addiction and drunkenness and lying, etc. And many of them will not listen to the truth because they want to keep on in their sinful practices. But we need to keep speaking the truth for any who will listen.

Ezekiel 2:6-7 ESV

“And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.”

And, yes, when we speak the truth of the gospel of our salvation, and when we attempt to bring a wandering Christian back to following our Lord with his/her life, or when we point out the lies that are being told in the name of God and his word, and thus we also point out the truth of what the Scriptures teach, not only will many not listen, but some (or many) will oppose us, too. They may just mock us, or they may fight against us, or they may falsely accuse us of being legalistic, or they may persecute us.

But we are not to fear their rebukes or their false accusations or their unkind remarks or their rejections and hatred and evil plots against us, too. But we are to keep on keeping on in speaking the truth of the gospel of our salvation, for many need to hear the truth, because the lies are being so widely accepted and followed these days. For the truth is that we must deny self, die daily to sin, and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, or we will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Softly and Tenderly

By Will Thompson, pub. 1880

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

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